Because nectar is what pollinators are really after, this sweet-tasting container packed with blue, pink, and red cornflowers, Spanish lavender, blanket flower, and baby's breath provide a perfect banquet for bees.
A vibrant mix of salvias and verbenas are sure to lure hummingbirds. Here, Salvia 'Mystic Spires', red and purple verbena (Verbena canadensis), and coral and raspberry autumn sage (Salvia greggii) add a pop of inviting color to the landscape.
Butterfly favorites such as delphinium, 'Queen Victoria' salvia, red verbena, and coreopsis provide food and respite for fluttering wings. In general, butterflies favor brightly colored flowers in red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, and blue. They prefer flowers with "landing pads," such as coreopsis, where they can perch while they eat.
You can help boost butterfly populations by planting "host" plants to provide food for caterpillars. Herbs like parsley and dill are magnets for many species of egg-laying females. Here, this repurposed galvanized washtub with drainage holes contains (from right to left) flat-leaf parsley, verbena, white coneflower, hibiscus, sedum, curly parsley, and rudbeckia.
Dill is a favorite host plant of the Eastern Black Swallowtail, a butterfly found throughout much of North America. Simple to start from seed, dill pairs well with salvia, dianthus, and calibrachoa.
Using the largest container you can find, like this washtub, will allow you to please the most palates. Buddleja, rudbeckia, calibrachoa, ageratum, and aster offer something for everyone in this dramatic display.